I move fast. I like moving fast. I can and will cram as much experience into 24 hours as I can; I like the fact that within the last few days I have seen centuries-old cave temples on the other side of the state, watched movies at the National Film Archive of India, cruised the biggest bazaar in Pune, taken cooking classes with a local yoga teacher, visited an ashram on the northern end of town, and half a dozen other things that I've gotten a chance to try on the spur of the moment.
I do all this and still end up thinking I need to get out more.
Already I have only one week left in town, and even though I knew that's what the schedule was going to be it still feels like a surprise. It seems like I only just got back here a couple weeks ago, (...then again, I suppose that's because I did only just get back here a couple weeks ago... hmm.... right). We've got lots more to do and lots more to see and we aren't stopping any time soon.
This comes at a cost. I'm already going to be pretty busy with trips and program outings, not to mention tests, papers, and homework.
The thing is, I've met all these people along the way. But because of the break-neck pace we've been moving at, I've only been able to do that: meet them. We exchange names, email addresses, smiles and waves, then I never see them again because I've run off with the program to trek through ancient ruins or something. Yes, I love the ruins, but I wish I could stick around and actually spend some time with the friends I just might make here. So far, all I've got is a list of contact information for people who I want to see and don't have time for.
Like I said, I don't like missing opportunities.
I have absolutely no regrets about going on a quarter-long program. It fits perfectly into my life; while I'm having a great time here, I'm looking forward to going home in December. But I'm starting to realize that while moving fast fits me and lets gives me an incredible range of experiences, it does mean I'll miss a thing or two along the way.
It feels very strange to relegate real people to the status of “things I missed along the way”.